A Really Radical Correction

A few weeks ago I was in class with Stern Teacher. In my regular classes, we’re encouraged to do tiny pliés, and I’ve always pliéd within my comfort zone, paying attention to how my muscles are engaging rather than how deep my bend is.

However in this class, I was encouraged to really work a deeper plié. My teacher watched me for a while in first – telling me to relax as usual! – and then I went into second. Then she did something really hands-on and intense!

She held my knees from the back, pulling them over my feet, and pushed her head into my pelvis. It felt INCREDIBLE.

(I felt like I’d had a baby for about a week afterwards, and my walls at home are all scuffed where I’ve plied in second down them to stretch out.)

Although I’m not encouraged to go deeper in my usual class, this really radical correction made me focus on my plié, which after all is such an essential building block of dancing.  Having such a radically different physical sensation demonstrated to me like this actually cut through  lot of the mental querying and testing I’d been doing around my plié too.

I’ve been missing getting corrected lately, as Fab Teacher hasn’t been giving me many in the last few weeks. Of course my mind is whirring as to whyyy! rather than assuming I’m not in need of any. I’m hoping to mix up a few different classes in the coming weeks because I’m greedy for more more MORE!

Is there a YES moment for you like this, a new correction or different way of phrasing one (or physically manhandling you!) that made you think differently?



5 thoughts on “A Really Radical Correction

  1. Haha moments like these in class are awesome! They can be such eye-openers.
    I had this one correction that I never forgot, with ronds de jambes and my arabesques and stuff like that I used to not cross my legs far enough, so my leg would be more to the side instead of really behind me. My teacher pulled my leg and placed it where it should be. It felt really awkward but at the same time I finally knew where my leg should go!

    • Yes, I’ll try to find some kind of illustration. If you can imagine your teacher crouching down behind you, holding your knees and shoving their head forward into your coccyx?? Don’t try this at home kids…

  2. I am being a thread necromancer again, reading back through your blog and going, “OMG yes, I’ve had that moment!” and feeling the need to comment six months after you posted …. apolgoies 🙂

    I have totally had moments like this. Perhaps the best was the first time I had class with my favorite teacher. She walked up to me, stuck her finger in the middle of my sternum, and said, “Lift this!” Instant improvement to all balances and all turns. It was miraculous.

    For what it’s worth, the manhandling method appears to be among the most effective. My childhood ballet teacher was definitely not afraid to put her hands on us, and neither were my childhood gymnastics teachers. I’m glad my current teachers aren’t either!

    • The manhandling method! Love it! It’s very interesting, I’ve been taking classes that are extremely hands-off and I do miss a real oomph prodding sternum moment. I do think when we’re learning how to use our bodies, bodily methods of touching are among the most effective

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